The Deep Carbon Observatory’s “New Generation Technology in Deep Carbon Science” symposium was held at the James A. Baker III Hall of Rice University, Houston, Texas on January 15-16, 2014. The meeting was made possible through generous funding from the Sloan Foundation, Shell Exploration and Production Company, and Rice University. The goal of the one-and-a-half daylong symposium was to engage the energy industry in a conversation about recent developments and synergies related to global carbon budgets, storage, movements, and pathways. The symposium explored common interests among R&D sectors in the energy industry, DCO community scientists, and various federal labs. Attendees also explored possible avenues of collaboration and partnership between hydrocarbon exploration and production companies and academic institutions.
Forty people attended the meeting, including approximately 10-15 representatives from various energy industries (ExxonMobil, Shell, Aramco, Doll-Schlumberger Research Center, Halliburton, Moeco), and scientists from academic institutions of the greater Gulf Coast area, the DCO Secretariat, and the DCO communities. The meeting included a series of short presentations from scientists from Los Alamos National Lab, Bureau of Economic Geology, various universities, and exploration and production company representatives, with ample time for discussion, questions, and answers. The meeting also featured a talk by the executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, Charles McConnell, who presented Rice’s vision on partnerships and collaboration with energy industries on topics of hydrocarbon exploration, production, and associated environmental problem mitigation.
Several suggestions came out of many discussion breakouts regarding how to improve and strategize future DCO engagement with industries. Some of the ideas that gained traction widely among the meeting participants included –
- DCO taking a lead role in setting up a consortium with various energy companies on research problems that may be common to both DCO community scientists and the energy industry;
- DCO setting up a distinguished lecture series to send individual speakers for day visits to various energy companies;
- Identifying points of contact within each of the leading companies and using such contacts in the future to reach interested groups within these companies;
- Because research partnerships or funding decisions are made much higher-up within companies, DCO should engage more senior research staff from varied divisions within leading energy companies for future workshops;
- Establishing a hub, perhaps in the Gulf Coast area, would give DCO a better point of contact with energy industries. This hub could remain as a legacy after the Sloan-funded 10-year program is over.
Meeting report and photo contributed by Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rice University).